Sled Dogs Of The St. Roch with Lea Edgar
Thursday, December 20, 7:30pm

Current research categorizes dogs at sea principally as pets or mascots. Less acknowledged, though, is the relationship between sailor and sled dog—a necessity for Arctic exploration and survival. Using records preserved at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, this presentation will examine the connection between the crew and sled dogs of the renowned RCMP ship St. Roch. Were the sled dogs merely working animals, treated as pets or companions, crew-members, or some combination of all of the above? How did the mainly Caucasian crew’s treatment of the dogs differ from the traditional Inuit-Qimmiq relationship? I suggest that these dogs fall outside of the categories of maritime "pets" or "mascots" and existed as at the least working animals and at the most fellow crew-members of the St. Roch.

Lea Edgar holds a Master of Archival Studies and a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia. She has an extensive background working with a variety of museums and archives. Lea is currently the Librarian and Archivist at the Vancouver Maritime Museum where she oversees the W.B. & M.H. Chung Library and Leonard G. McCann Archives and writes a monthly historical column for BC Shipping News magazine.